Using Gamification to Sell Guestroom Upgrades
December 6, 2017 1:00pm
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (www.hotelmogel.com)
Selling room upgrades is a vital tactic for generating incremental revenue and filling unused inventory. Most websites that I’ve visited attempt to outline the advantages of better rooms, be it through size, view, bed type, floor level, amenities or a combination of these elements.
But once the consumer purchases a specific room type, how do you entice them to spend a little extra to get something even better than what they’ve already confirmed? While there’s the age-old approach of prompting them either through a pre-arrival email or phone call, or once they are physically at the front desk, many hotels are trying something new.
Several chains now utilize programs that immediately offer all confirmed reservations a standby upgrade rate, typically at a discount versus the full upgraded cost. These programs can be quite effective in generating further revenue from participants. After all, ten bucks more for that better room (versus double that on the rate card) is better than nothing at all.
As a personal example, consider my most recent flight to Los Angeles for which I booked an economy return fare. The email here was received shortly thereafter, offering me not only an opportunity to make an upgrade, but to competitively bid for this upgrade with other passengers. Thus, the upgrade decision was not a binary yes-or-no at a fixed price, but one that had a sense of play involved.
Just like an online auction, I was notified each time my bid was beaten by another fellow passenger. Regretfully, I had a limited budget and ended up flying in the gulag. I do not know the exact value of the victorious bid, but my cut-off point was $250 each way and clearly this was not enough.
The key component of any simple gamification like this is participation. Unlike a simple ‘Do you want it at this standby price?’ situation, involvement, variability and sense of control add to consumer excitement and interest. As with most games, there is an element of chance, thus the ubiquitous signoff of ‘Good luck!’ at the end of the email.
Now imagine offering customers an opportunity to upgrade their superior rooms to deluxe, a suite or perhaps one of your signature rooms with a bidding system introduced? After the initial hurdle of setting this system up, your revenue management team can then easily control the situation, adding minimum bids and possibly a random success element as well as awarding one weekly participant with an upgrade at no incremental cost. Tangentially, imagine what this will do for your social media efforts when you post the weekly winner?
The airline industry has shown strong leadership in yield management. Here is another idea that we can ‘borrow’ from them to add to our success. Now is the time to use the principles of gamification to your advantage.
This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.
Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or to discuss speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.
Tags: larry mogelonsky,
One of the world’s most published writer in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the principal of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited, a Toronto-based consulting practice. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry is also on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes four books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013), “Hotel Llama” (2015), and “The Llama is Inn” (2017). You can reach Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss hotel business challenges or to book speaking engagements.
Contact: Larry Mogelonsky
Using Wine to Show How Much Customers Care About Industry Jargon
Does Your Hotel Have a Policy on Piercings?
Should You Start Putting Rooms On Airbnb?
Building Your F&B Reputation Through Events
Ten Steps to Revitalizing Your Coffee Experience
A Story of How Handwritten Notes Increase Service
Bridge as a Niche Opportunity for Hotels
The Importance of Bottle Design in Selling Wine
Thinking Broadly About Fire Safety
What Winesday Teaches Us About Restaurant Marketing
Does Search Engine Marketing Actually Work for Hotels?
Twelve Useful Tips for Hotel Renovations
Learning from Sushi Master Jiro
Taking Another Look at Airbnb’s Advertising
Hotel Trends in Technology for 2018
Hotel Trends in F&B for 2018
Time To Line Up Your 2018 Goals
Analyzing the Relationship Between Serviced Residences and Hybrid Travel
Healthy Eating Means Healthy Desserts Too
Time To Get In The Holiday Spirit With…Holiday Spirits
Please login or register to post a comment.